Chandigarh: Fire safety regulations go up in smoke in furniture market, no help warnings : The Tribune India

Tribune News Service

Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, June 23

A day after a major fire was reported in the Sector 53/54 furniture market, it came to light that violation of fire safety regulations was rampant in stores here.

The Municipal Corporation (MC) said that there were many infractions in the market and that the fire department had notified the shopkeepers, but to no avail. The MC said that once a market case was pending in court, they couldn’t do much.

A visit to the market revealed that not all stores had fire extinguishers. In the back of some stores, flammable material and waste were seen dumped. The stores on either side of the road separating Sector 53 and 54 are located “almost on the road”. There is no space between the busy street and the tin-structured shops.

The remains of stores that caught fire at the Sector 53/54 furniture market in Chandigarh.

“We have delivered several notices about violations to them in the past. The last one was served in 2020, when a fire broke out during the Covid period,” said a firefighter.

“Installing a firefighting system doesn’t do much good here, as they are all tin shed cabins, which in itself is structurally unsafe. Not just fire, these are vulnerable even in the event of an earthquake or high speed winds. Only a few stores have fire extinguishers,” the official said.

MC commissioner Anindita Mitra said: “We are issuing warnings for them to take all security measures. We will come back to the subject Satish Kumar, president of the Furniture Market Merchants Association, however, said: “Most stores here have fire extinguishers. There are a total of 118 stores and these are following the rules.”

Kulbir Singh, whose two stores were destroyed in the fire yesterday, said: “We have been operating from here for 40 years. Initially, we got the space rented from landowners. Later, the land was acquired by the UT administration, but we got a suspension from the court in 1993. We ask the UT administration to grant us land in the marble market, Dhanas or any other location so that such fire incidents can be avoided. We are already paying all taxes, like the GST, to the government.”

Combustible material in stores

This was the 11th major fire reported on the market in the last 15 years. Fire officials and shopkeepers said it is due to combustible material such as thinner, polish, paint and wood kept in or around shops that fire incidents were often reported from here.

What does the MC say?

The Municipal Corporation (MC) said that there were many infractions in the market and that the fire department had notified the shopkeepers, but to no avail. The MC said that once a market case was pending in court, they couldn’t do much.

Leave a Reply